Down Ballot State Races And Ballot Issues In FL, GA, ID, MD, MI, And WA

A lot of state elections with consequence for education happening tomorrow, here’ s a quick summary via Whiteboard.  Washington State gubernatorial arguably the most-watched, but others that matter.

Also some ballot initiatives that will impact education.  Keep an eye charter issues in WA and GA, collective bargaining in MI, and a big education package in ID.  In FL a church/state constitutional amendment with ramifications for school choice there. And in MD a state version of the DREAM Act.

Update: School choice backers in Florida want distance from that ballot issue.  Doug Tuthill writes to say:

…because of the US Supreme Court’s 2002 Zelman decision, Florida’s school choice community thinks Amendment 8 has no relevance for parents using public funds to pay for tuition and fees at faith-based schools. The Florida Supreme Court apparently agrees since they ruled the old Jeb Bush voucher program unconstitutional on grounds other than Florida’s Blaine amendment.

Our nonprofit is providing over 50,000 low-income students with tax credit scholarships this fall to attend about 1,350 private schools, 80% of which are faith-based schools. The McKay scholarship, which is a voucher program, is funding about 24,500 special education students this fall to attend private schools and about half of these are faith-based schools. So Florida’s Blaine amendment hasn’t been an impediment to growth and we don’t anticipate it ever will be. The impetus for Amendment 8 came from a suit a secular humanist group filed against a local prison rehabilitation program that is run by a Christian organization.

More on whether or not this is about vouchers from the NBC affiliate in Miami.

5 Replies to “Down Ballot State Races And Ballot Issues In FL, GA, ID, MD, MI, And WA”

  1. Campbell Brown and Andrew rotherham in Florida:

    In a stunning smear, a GOP group chaired by a prominent Republican strategist and funded by the state Republican leadership, has sent a mailing to Florida voters accusing an elementary school teacher running for state legislature of enabling child molestation because she is in a teacher’s union.
    The mailings attack Karen Castor Dentel, an elementary school teacher in Maitland, Florida, and the Democratic challenger for the 30th District State House of Representatives seat. Because she is a member of the Florida Education Association, which opposed a 2011 bill that eliminated tenure for public-school teachers, the mailer says she would “rather protect bad teachers and the union” than “young and impressionable students.” One one side of the mailing is a picture of convicted serial child molester Jerry Sandusky — who as an assistant football coach at Penn State would not have been protected by any Florida public school teacher’s union; the other side shows a picture of her and the other says:
    Karen Castor Dentel’s priorities are clear:
    * Use tenure policies to protect bad, burnt-out, longtime teachers at the expense of younger, better teachers.
    * Use the courts to keep all teachers in the classroom – even those who prey on young people.
    * The right to use our tax dollars and valuable student learning time to promote her political campaign.
    Karen Castor Dentel: Good for the union, bad for kids.

  2. I attended my daughter’s graduation from my workplace, UC Berkeley, two years ago. A really happy time. She graduated in neurology. Afterwards as she, her mother, and I walked around the campus, I saw my daughter in a new light. She was smart, well educated, and naturally curious.

    She was not an opinionated, political, policy expert. She was skilled in mathematics, organic chemistry, physics, and biology. She was NOT a journalist, a squishy political scientist, or a lying economist, or a journalist that all pretend to have some scientific gnosis about what SMARTER PEOPLE DO.

    I do think that the army of consultants that has sprung up around education are doing GREAT HARM to this country. The above excerpts that paint our publics as evil creators of sin and infamy point to the group think narrow mindedness of MANY conservatives and education policy center like Bellwhether. They simply DO NOT UNDERSTAND what is going on RIGHT NOW in our public universities and K-12 programs.

    In a nutshell, they have, with their squishy single minds, defenestrated a public system that is the envy of the world. As I sat there in a heavy mist at her commencement, it was cold, damp,and wet. But I was happy and relieved. My daughter made it through in 5 years. The NON-SCIENCE squishy majored goofballs in the SOFT STUFF dance drunk on table tops and graduate in four, only to become the bete noire’s of the SMART FOLKS IN SCIENCE. Graduating in five years in REAL SCIENCE is a major accomplishment with the difficulty of the classes and the BUDGET CUTS with which our PRINCIPLED CONSERVATIVE school reformers here in California have bludgeoned lour K-12 and UC system.

    The UC system in California is THE PREMIERE public system in the world. And the chancellor spoke some words of warning: In order to keep the UC system competitive in the world, it would have to ADMIT MORE FOREIGN STUDENTS. And he warned that would mean FEWER DOMESTIC SEATS for deserving American taxpaying citizens.

    Now just wait for the Bellwhether explanation: Failing public schools, teacher molesters, union thugs, and lack of data driven (baloney to any scientist) teacher evaluation, and routine firings by knotheads with degrees in history or education ( the most risible discipline on this planet) drive our failure, and are the ONLY solution. Smart people always become suspicious when they are offered the Hobbesian choice: Mine or nothing.

    At this time in history, we are dominated by an miseducated elite consultant class that spends it days spewing agitprop: Phoney, bogus research to ADVERTISE their phoney bogus claims. It would be best to cast them in the light of VACUUM cleaner salesmen, or air cleaner idiots.

    While we tear apart our education system and use TAXPAYER money to send students to questionable charter schools and religious privates with NO ACCOUNTABILITY, our intenational neighbors step in an make the investment in our UC system. What does that SAY ABOUT US? Even our most open minded all mighty consultants at Bellwhether are adopting nativist, xenophobic policies regarding education. What else can they do with their miseducation in economics, or political science, or journalism, or some other squishy subject. Where else would the work, than for some right wing Citizens United agitprop organization. They do not want the truth. They want POWER.

    Go to and look up the stats on Gunn high school: In the top five for math and science. Look at the break down for hispanic achievement. Bellwhether would tell you that school is failing. Here is the REAL issue: Why do hispanic students fail to achieve at this school with FREE TUITION and world class math and science instructors?

    But if you listen to Bellwhether and the rest of the school reform movement, these world class math and science instructors are union thugs and lazy and molesters, and the ONLY scalable model is the entirely QUESTIONABLE results of charters. Does anyone sense an blinding ideological perpsective in Mr R. and Bellwhether?

    In closing, NCLB will defenestrate GUNN if allowed. It will shut down AP physics labs in order to teach the unteachable how to read and do basic math. And if Gunn does not reach these students, then Mr. R and his posse will hunt it down and kill it like a deer.

    Welcome to the logic of the non-profit right wing agitprop tanks. And welcome to the future where THIS COUNTRY DEFUNDS the world best public university system, the UC system in California.

    Let’s have three huzzahs for our self appointed consultant elite class.

  3. Bill,
    Here’s Andy’s like minded brethern:

    Malika Anderson (the Chief Portfolio Officer- whatever the heck that is – for the ASD) minimized the impact of the parents’ comments on the school selection process by stating that “the tone and anger was the same” as in meetings earlier in the week with the faculty and staff. But it was her next comment that really got me: “It is really important for people to hear that they don’t get just one chance to ask us questions, that we are here to listen and allow them to vent and to process the change that is happening. When they are ready to engage in productive problem-solving that is going to support the kids in these schools, we’re going to be ready, ready to hold their hand.”

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